Union minister Piyush Goyal today said the Centre was “favourably inclined” to allotting maximum power to Tamil Nadu from Units 3 and 4 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, which are presently under construction.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Chief Minister K Palaniswami at the Secretariat here, he noted “A request was made that maximum power should be alloted to Tamil Nadu. I am quite favourable for that.”
The Union Minister of State for Power was flanked by Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister P Thangamani with whom he had a review meeting on the state’s power sector.
“We are drawing up a new power allotment formula under which we will try to extend maximum power from Kudankulam unit 3 and 4 to Tamil Nadu,” Goyal said.
He said his meeting with the chief minister was “pleasant” and “fruitful”.
“There is not a single issue on which we have not found agreement,” he said.
The Union minister also thanked the Palaniswami for extending support to the NDA presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind.
Allocation of coal block for Cheyyur ultra mega power project and allowing Neyveli Lignite Corporation to continue to operate an old plant till June next (till a replacement plant comes up) were among other things which the Centre had agreed, he told reporters here.
A government release here said that the chief minister urged Goyal to allocate the entire power generation of 2,000 MWs from KKNPP units and 3, 4 to Tamil Nadu and provide evacuation lines upto nearby sub-station.
The Centre had last year said the KKNPP- units 3 and 4 would add a capacity of 1,000 MW each on their “progressive completion expected in the financial year 2023-24.”
In the meeting, Palaniswami sought expedition of bidding process and allocation of a separate coal block for CUMPP, the release said.
The CM also sought a dedicated Inter-State Green Energy Corridor at the earliest for sale of surplus wind power.
Abolition of ‘Frequency Linked Penalty for Renewable Energy Rich State’, waiver of compensation charges while surrendering CGS power due to high renewables were among the other requests made, the state government said.
The Union minister said several initiatives that Tamil Nadu government has taken up particularly after joining UDAY scheme were discussed in length.
Stating that losses in state-owned TANGEDCO in Tamil Nadu have fallen from nearly Rs 14,000 crore to about Rs 3,700 crores, he noted that UDAY has helped the state to “become power surplus.”
He said if losses had not come down it would have meant increase in tariff by 30 or 40 per cent.
Due to UDAY, Tamil Nadu power generation, distribution and transmission companies will also start making profits and serve people with affordable, adequate uninterrupted clean power round year, he added.
Remembering visiting former chief minister J Jayalalithaa at the Secretariat last year on July 15, he said, “I am grateful to her that she agreed to join UDAY and be a part of the transformation through power sector.”
He said, “Improvement in power sector will be a legacy that Jayalalithaaji has left behind for the people of Tamil Nadu.”
On GST implementation, Goyal said due to GST there will be huge savings for Tamil Nadu as well.
“Thanks to GST and reduction of taxes and cess on coal by which NLC (Neyveli Lignite Corporation) alone will reduce cost of power by Rs 508 crore,” he said.
He said cost of power supplied by other firms will also come down resulting in a saving of about Rs 1,000 crore.
Goyal pointed out that the importance of energy efficiency was deliberated in the meeting.
“We are looking at expanding joint cooperation between state and central governments on energy efficiency and conservation through Energy Efficiency Services Limited and the state government,” he said.
On claims that a proposal was on cards to privatise the Ennore Kamarajar Port here, he said, “there is no move to privatise any port in the country.”
Replying to a question, he said,” Whatever proposals come from TN to further expand Green Energy Corridors for evacuation of renewable energy, it will be considered very sympathetically.”
In the past three years, the Centre has already doubled the transmission capacity to the southern grid, and most of it has come to Tamil Nadu.
“In next three to four years, we are going to further increase transmission capacity by 300 per cent more,” he said.
Hence, from 3,450 MW in 2014, in 2020 there will be 18,000 MW transmission capacity to south India.
“After that there will never be a problem either to bring or evacuate power,” he added.